SOC Crest

The Swords of
Chivalry

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Group Photo in 2010
Swords of Chivalry, 2013

Imagine . . .

The year is 1342. King Edward III has declared the day to be one of feasting and merriment. A great banquet has been laid in the castle for the Lords and Ladies to attend. The banquet extends to the populace as musicians, jugglers, acrobats, and mimes entertain the crowds outside the palace.

As you enter the inner gates, the crowd falls silent to hear the proclamation that is being read.

"My Lords and Ladies. The noble King Edward III has requested his Knights of the Realm to join together this day in tourney. This will be combat 'á la plaisance', blunted weapons only. No blood is to be spilt nor life taken on this day of feast. I present to you the Knights. All hail."

The crowd responds "Wassail" as the armour clad knights take to the roped off arena. Helms and breastplates shimmer in the unusually bright sunlight. They introduce themselves and you pick your favorite. As the crowd cheers, the Herald yells out "All hail King Edward III."

Amid calls of "Wassail", the crowd hushes and bows to its King. He steps to his place of honour and signals the tournament marshall. Combat is about to begin . . . .

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The Knights of The Swords of Chivalry are trained to provide the combat King Edward III would have approved of. SOC is one of the few stateside live steel contact combat groups operating today. Authenticity and safety are the primary concerns for the society. Fun and camaraderie are also stressed.

Safety is maintained through limited strike zones and angles of impact in a telegraphed style. Long years of training are required before a squire is knighted. The fighting system has been used since 1970 by the Medieval Combat Society in England with no major accidents and only two minor injuries.

The Swords of Chivalry follow some basic rules of safety and conduct during shows as well as practice sessions, including:

  • Helmet and gauntlets are required. "No Helmet, No Gauntlets = No Fight!"
  • Only specific blows at specific angles are allowed.
  • Never deliver blows to the unprotected areas of the body where bones are close to the surface of the skin.
  • Give the opponent a good fight. Test his skill, not his endurance.
  • The "I have to win at all costs" attitude is discouraged.
  • All weapon tips are rounded to the contours of a 1 penny coin and the cutting edge should be at least 2mm thick.
  • Above all else, use common sense.


 

Last updated Saturday, August 9, 2014
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